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Top message:  still no nfc by whocares   Sep 10, 2013, 3:42 PM

Replying to:  Alternative to NFC: iBeacon by Rich Brome   Sep 10, 2013, 8:28 PM


by Zpike    Sep 10, 2013, 9:15 PM

That was interesting reading, but of note is the fact that the latest Android devices already have bluetooth 4.0. Also, Android 4.3 incorporates BLE support into the operating system. So, it's not like Apple is competing in a separate ecosystem as you seem to have suggested. Anyone on Android 4.3 or greater will have the same access.

But BLE has some serious limitations when it comes to bandwidth that NFC doesn't have. I know that Apple pretends to overcome this with some Wifi and Bluetooth trickery, but let's be honest. PDA phones from more than 10 years ago were capable of the same trickery (and Android devices of today certainly are). It's not like they're bringing anything innovative to the table on that front.

The article claimed that Apple's Wifi/Bluetooth trickery required no setup, but I'd like to see them prove that. I certainly wouldn't approve of anything sending any data to my device over wifi or bluetooth without first doing some setup and getting my permission. I can only see this working as described with devices you have registered as your own with Apple. And even then some setup would be required at the time of registration. I'd be really curious to see if Apple can actually back up this claim.

But on the other hand, this is where NFC's intentionally limited range really shines. There is a level of trust that you can have because of its immensely short range, which truly does negate the need for much if any setup. And files can be transferred with a high bandwidth between two devices that are only within a very close proximity, with very little concern that they might be intercepted. This is truly a victory of NFC over BLE.

But let's also not forget that NFC tags don't have any power requirements and can be printed into virtually anything. NFC fills a niche that BLE physically cannot.

But don't get me wrong. After reading the article, I am excited about BLE. I truly feel it will beat out NFC in certain areas. I would be really peeved if I was forced to choose between the two technologies, as is the case with Apple customers (it would be akin to having to choose between standard bluetooth and wifi). But with Android, I can have both.

Again, this is just another example of Apple screwing their customers, while explaining to them how much better it is than what everyone else is getting and why they should be perfectly happy to pay more for less.

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